7 Effective Ways To Develop Your Creativity
Creativity has always been the defining feature of humanity and the foundation of any society, past, present or future.
It originates from our ability to adapt, enabling us to solve any existing problems and improve our lives.
So it’s safe to say that we enjoy our current lives thanks to the ingenuity of our predecessors.
Even today, when you look at successful individuals like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and many others, their defining quality, above all else, is creativity.
So we, as people, have come to realize the importance of creativity, yearning for it in ourselves. All in the hopes that we might mimic the success of other people.
But even then, most people struggle with finding creativity in themselves, leading to self-doubt, and, eventually, making them give up on finding it.
Because of that, many people mistakenly believe it’s something they don’t have any control over. That you either have it or you don’t. Fortunately, that’s complete baloney.
Creativity is in our nature, some of us have it more, some of us have it less. But that’s because creativity is a practiced skill.
You won’t suddenly wake up one morning without astounding amounts of creativity. Neither did the creative genius of our time. Persistence and effort is the name of the game.
Please go easier on yourself because you’ve never lacked creativity. The problem is you didn’t do enough to have creativity.
But that’s only part of the problem…
Where did all the creativity go?
The main issue with modern times is that we’re not exactly starting on a level playing field. In the distant past, the first man who created the wheel was the creative genius of his age.
Fast forward to present day and we have toddlers using smartphones with such great skill their parents break out in cold sweat.
My point is, what was considered creative/innovative/whatever even just a few years ago is already a normal and widespread thing today.
We’re literally drowning in so many difficult ideas, concepts, and advanced technologies that people undervalue their own creativity.
So unless you do something mind-blowingly awesome, people won’t considered it creativity by any stretch of the imagination.
But the truth is, people are filled with creativity – you, me, and anyone else. Just try paying more attention to the small things you do each day and you’ll be surprised.
Because you’ve been practicing creativity from the day you’re born, albeit subconsciously. Simply because it’s the tendency of your mind.
But because it’s something that happens by itself, you don’t feel the progress as much or at all.
Why not try doing things consciously to give yourself that huge creativity boost you’ve been looking for?
After all, there’s nothing to lose and only things to gain…
There are many approaches, techniques, tips, and tricks you can use to boost your creativity and I’m gonna share some of them with you.
That being said, let’s start with an all-time classic…
Method #1: Think outside the box
Unsurprisingly enough, this is the most common suggestion you’ll hear when you tell someone you’re struggling with creativity.
The problem is, most people throw around this notion as the cure-all without explaining how it actually works.
The “box”, in this case, is what’s considered normal thinking, normal methods, realistic solutions, and generally things we know and feel comfortable with.
“Outside the box” is everything else. The things we don’t know or consider weird, unusual, and even impractical.
Thus, it’s very normal that most people always think inside the “box”, being unable to see or acknowledge anything outside of it.
As a result, their creativity and imagination gets dampened considerably. And the best way to avoid that is by trying things differently.
Shift your thinking, change how you perceive things, and adjust your actions. That’s the core of “outside the box” thinking.
Like Einstein once said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”
If creativity is your goal, there are no better words to live by.
Method #2: Draw creativity from history
History, a subject that intimidates and torments many students, filled with weird names, hard to remember dates, and cautionary tales on the evils and misdeeds of humanity.
Thankfully enough, it’s also the record of human creativity and ingenuity over the millennia, listing all our greatest accomplishments.
All the way from building the pyramids to landing on the moon. By revisiting and analyzing each and every event, you can gain great insight on what drives creativity in people.
Why they did it, what inspired them, and how they finally did it.
For example, the Wright brothers. They dreamed of soaring through the vast blue skies, surpassing human limitations, so they went on to create the very first airplane…
Did you know that they got valuable inspiration from birds? More specifically, the way birds control their altitude and direction of flight by slightly shifting their wings.
Of course, they couldn’t mimic bird wings perfectly, but the idea of adjustable wings lead to the creation of a fully controllable plane. And the same concept applies in aircraft construction even today, from fighter jets to commercial airliners.
And there are hundreds if not thousands of similar events/inventions that showcase human creativity and ingenuity. All you have to do is look for them, so I hope I pointed you in the right direction.
Method #3: Get inspiration from art
Art is the most defined creativity symbol in this world. From paintings and statues all the way to acting performances and symphonies.
All of it gives us a chance to look into someone else’s worldview. Unfortunately, most of it is too subtle and too gentle, which has little to no immediate effect on your creativity.
Fortunately, there are always exceptions to this rule. Like for example, Pablo Picasso’s abstract art.
Abstract art is a warped/surreal version of our reality. Bits and pieces of it make sense to us, but most of it doesn’t.
It’s like a cohesive mess that somehow works the more you think about it… and then it doesn’t, but then it does.
It’s quite simply something that gives your brain an immediate creative shock as soon as you look at it. The more unusual it is, the stronger the effect.
This also boosts your “out of the box” thinking since your brain gets catapulted out of its comfort zone into the creativity stratosphere.
There’s also the nightmarish and surreal artwork, but be careful when you look at pieces like that since they can easily have a negative impact on you.
The most notable example I can give you is artwork by H. R. Giger. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, he’s the guy who designed Xenomorphs from the dystopian sci-fi franchise “Alien.”
Most of his art is great, but it has this weird eeriness that probes your brain in a bad way, making you feel uncomfortable. If you can get past that, however, some of H. R. Giger’s creativity is bound to rub off on you.
Method #4: Relax more often
In some cases, people obsess with creativity way too much, trying to force it out of themselves too desperately.
But from the onset, creativity is something your brain arrives at naturally without you forcing it, which is how any and all “Eureka!” moments tend to happen.
The scientific side of this is still poorly understood, with experts like Ap Dijksterhuis trying to find concrete evidence on how all of it comes together.
Fortunately, from what we know so far, you can use the subconscious mind to boost your creativity tremendously. But to “ask” for that help you first need to relax your mind.
The only caveat is that you need a clearly defined question or problem in your mind, otherwise your mind won’t ever work towards solutions.
So lay down, take a walk and breathe fresh air, or find any other way you can relax, and creativity will come to you.
Funnily enough, I’ve actually experienced this first-hand. Whenever I’m laying down on my bed I have these amazing ideas on what to write…
But that never happens when I sit in front of my laptop.
Method #5: Make creative rituals
The most mysterious tool in this world – the brain. Even after all this time, we don’t understand how to fully control it.
Fortunately, when it comes to creativity, we don’t really need full control. We just need to slightly prod it into the right direction.
You probably know of morning rituals – a set of actions during the morning to make you more productive throughout the day. Like drinking coffee, meditation, yoga, etc.
You can use rituals like that for creativity as well. For example, us the previous steps in any sequence.
Look at art, read up on history, think outside the box, and relax for a bit. That forms a simple creativity ritual.
It can consist of anything you want, but you have to find out what exactly works for you. Identify and analyze the times you were more creative than usual.
What leads to it?
What did you do?
How long did it take?
If you can pinpoint the exact pattern, it will become very easy to get more creative, allowing you to repeat the steps over and over whenever you need to.
Method #6: Interact with creative people more often
Studies show that the people you interact with on a daily basis affect your thinking methods (creative or not).
In some cases, being around the wrong people too much will dampen your creativity on top of everything else.
The solution is really simple though, interact with creative people more often. On top of that, it doesn’t have to be just real life interactions.
Thanks to the internet, all of the world’s creative minds are closer now than ever. And to interact with them/get inspired by them, all you need to do is go onto YouTube or Reddit.
Speeches, podcasts, videos, write-ups, and so much is more is always available to you, all without ever needing you to leave the comfort of your own room.
The more you expose yourself to the creativity of others, the easier it will become to emulate their thinking patterns, allowing you to boost your own creativity.
Method #7: Get buzzed
When all else fails, there’s still a tried and tested method many creative geniuses have used over the centuries. Most notable examples would be the writers Hemingway and Kerouac.
By removing their inhibitions with alcohol, their written words could flow that much better. Simply put, they weren’t constrained to their usual thought patterns, which, again, circles back to “out of the box” thinking.
You don’t need to get completely wasted. A single light drink to get you buzzed will do, allowing you to reveal your hidden creativity.
And it doesn’t even have to be alcohol in most cases. To many people, caffeine works the same way. This includes drinks like coffee, tea, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, etc.
So in short, pick your poison and chug your creativity!
Persistence and effort is the key to creativity
Even if you know creativity is in you, just trying out the techniques I listed isn’t enough to fully unlock it.
Mostly because you won’t arrive at the desired results overnight, so persistence and effort is the most important thing you’ll need.
If a method doesn’t work for you, try another one. If you didn’t get super creative in a week, try for longer.
Adjust your approach and shift your thinking gradually, only then will you reach your goal of creativity.
After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
The same goes for your current lifestyle. Your life won’t get better if you always do the same thing over and over.
Find out how you can make an impactful change in your life, so you can live the amazing life you deserve. (click on the book below)
And that’s all for this time, feel free to share how you boost your creativity!
See you in the next blog post!
Here’s a must-watch introduction on creative thinking from Giovanni Corazza: